As a parent, you’re dedicated to preparing your child to succeed in life. So seeing your child struggle, even when you know they’re trying their hardest, can be a heartbreaking experience.
If your child seems to be struggling, occupational therapy may be the answer. There are over 130,000 licensed occupational therapists ready to help your child.
Want to learn more about the benefits of occupational therapy and what it means for your child? Read on to learn more.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
Understanding occupational therapy begins with a reworking of how we view the word ‘therapy’.
If a child requires OT services, it doesn’t mean that they’re bad or that something is gravely wrong with them.
It only means that they’re struggling with certain tasks due to developmental delays.
We can define occupations as, “…the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families, and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life.”
This can be as simple as feeding or dressing one’s self or as complex as social interaction.
Through OT, a specialist works with an individual to refine and strengthen motor and social skills.
How Do I Know If My Child Needs Help?
Knowing whether your child is having a hard time or needs outside assistance can be difficult.
If you’re concerned that your child may have some developmental delays, here are a few common reasons for occupational therapy:
By the time they’re ready for pre-school, children should be able to grip a pencil with relative ease.
School is where kids learn vital subjects like reading and writing. But attending school is also a means of learning how to get along with others.
Pay attention to how your child interacts with other kids. If they refuse to play with others or get frustrated faster than others, occupational therapy can help them learn to play.
Trouble Getting Dressed
A child in need of OT often has trouble buttoning buttons, tying shoelaces, or putting on their jacket.
Like gripping a pencil, this struggle is due to a lack of fine motor skill development.
How Do I Enroll My Child in Occupational Therapy Services?
Enrolling your child in occupational therapy services is quite simple, though it can take some time.
If your child attends school, speak to their teachers and principal about options and referrals. Most schools — both charter and public — provide one-on-one OT services.
You can also enroll your child in online occupational therapy if you’d rather not pull them out of class.
What Are the Benefits of Occupational Therapy?
Through regular OT sessions, your child will see countless improvements.
For starters, your child will see improved motor skills. They’ll learn how to handle classroom materials such as scissors and pencils, as well as handwriting techniques.
Most kids become more social, as well, so your child will be happier.
Occupational therapy benefits take some time to kick in, but they have the power to change your little one’s life.
Help Your Child Catch-Up with Occupational Therapy
If you’re nervous about enrolling your child in OT services, take a deep breath.
Though they’re struggling now, the benefits of occupational therapy will last a lifetime.
Be patient with your young one. They’re likely nervous about working with an occupational therapist and may act out.
You can help by making sure you’re not putting undue pressure on them. Click here to read how the pressure to succeed may actually harm your child.